A nine months study showed that worker productivity can rise by 13% when people work from home and increase employee retention by around 50%. But working from home also has its pitfalls. That’s especially true in the age of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders when employees have distractions they would not otherwise face. Children aren’t in school. And a spouse or roommate may also be in the home.

But even after such orders are lifted, many businesses will see an ongoing need to keep some employees at home to promote social distancing and ensure business continuity. 

Eric Weast with ECW Computers provides cloud services in Florida and shares why you’ll appreciate these distraction-reducing, production-maximizing Microsoft Team tools for your home-based workforce.

  1. Customized Backgrounds

Not unlike the green screens used by ESPN and CNN to block distractions or liven up the background, workers can now use Microsoft Teams Room’s blur technology. It allows those in a video meeting to choose a background that then intelligently blocks out any activity, clutter, or other distractions in the room behind them.

Add a branded background for use on client calls and let employees choose personalized backgrounds to better visually-distinguish between participants in a group meeting.

  1. Dual Camera Support

You no longer need a director to capture a scene from different angles. The latest version of Microsoft Teams Room lets you use two cameras at once. One can give you a broader view of the presenter in the meetings while you use the other for a closeup of a whiteboard or screen.

The tool can further intelligently make the presenter translucent on the closeup camera so that everyone has a full view of the board at all times. Home-based employees will feel more engaged and focused on this Microsoft Teams feature.

  1. Inclusion Tool

Attending a meeting remotely when others are in a meeting room can feel exclusive. And it’s especially difficult for the hard of hearing or when the meeting is not in a person’s first language.

This Microsoft Teams tool allows you to add real-time captions that lets everyone follow along and feel more comfortable contributing because they’re not missing important topics.

  1. Ensuring Meeting Privacy

Old-fashioned meeting rooms let anyone who had the meeting code “dial-in”. In some meetings, this could create serious security issues.

If people were meeting in a physical room, then the meeting coordinator could say “you don’t belong here” to someone who tried to sit in. But in a virtual space, you may not notice that you have an extra attendee. In some industries like healthcare, finance, legal, or education, this open meeting style could lead to fines or legal action even if someone “harmlessly” attended a wrong meeting.

The latest Microsoft Teams tool has enhanced security to more effectively limit:

  • who can attend what meetings
  • what people can see based on the job description for a mixed group in a highly-regulated industry.
  • what others can share in the meeting
  1. Enhanced Data Security

The latest Microsoft Teams helps you automatically detect and protect sensitive information shared in meetings. Microsoft makes it easier to follow your Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy by blocking certain information from accidental or intentional leaks or shares.

Reducing Employee Distractions When Working At Home

Work at home employees can be more productive. But they also face both distractions and security challenges that need to be directly addressed to meet business goals.

Fortunately, Microsoft listens to its customers and develops tools that solve problems. To get the most out of business tools like these, it’s vital to bring your technology up to 2020 standards.